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Gun Show Ban Proposal Defeated

Saturday, March 18, 2006

On February 28, the Glendale (California) City Council considered and overwhelmingly rejected a proposed ordinance brought by Mayor Rafi Manoukian (D) that would have banned gun shows from taking place at the Glendale Civic Center.  The Council meeting was packed with NRA members and national supporters of the show.
 
Currently, the Glendale Gun Show takes place at the Glendale Civic Center four times per year.  The show features various firearm-related collectibles, along with antique and modern firearms.  Thousands of people and families attend the event, one of the last of its kind in Los Angeles County.  For more information on the gun show you can visit www.glendalegunshow.com.
 
The proposal was apparently precipitated by a solicitation from a California-based gun ban advocacy group that has been working to spread its gun ban agenda.  The Mayor had the City Attorney prepare a report on the legality of the proposed ordinance.  The City Attorney’s report concluded that the City could legally enact such a ban, but it was based on misinformation from the gun control group.  The City Attorney referenced lawsuits that involved challenges to these types of ordinances, and concluded that the cases had been resolved against the gun shows, so there was no legal obstacle to adopting the ordinance.
 
In a letter to the Council, lawyers for NRA pointed out that this was inaccurate.  While certain gun ban advocacy groups have been spreading this misinformation to local governments, the truth is that the NRA supported Nordyke v. Alameda civil rights violation litigation is alive and well, having survived a post-appeal motion to dismiss brought by the defendant, the County of Alameda.  The gun show promoter’s First Amendment claims in the Nordyke case were found to be viable, and the plaintiffs are now conducting discovery to satisfy the court.  It should be a relatively simple matter to establish the evidence that the court has held necessary to substantiate the First Amendment claim in the Nordyke case.  At that point Alameda County would face a claim for millions of dollars in lost revenue, damages, and the plaintiff's attorney’s fees.  Individual Supervisors also face a potential punitive damages award.
 
Once he was made aware of the still-pending litigation by the NRA, the City Attorney changed his conclusion.  In any event, the Council would have voted against the proposal, as there was clear support for the right to choose to own a gun for self-defense.  Faced with sure defeat, the mayor withdrew the proposal!
 

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